The HESS-II (High Energy Stereoscopic System) telescope in Namibia has detected gamma rays of only 30 Giga electron volts (GeV) from the Vela pulsar, the first pulsar to be detected by HESS and the second to be spotted by ground-based gamma ray telescopes.
The HESS experiment in Namibia is the first Cherenkov system with telescopes of different sizes detecting cosmic TeV gamma rays in sync. A fifth 28-meter telescope, placed at the center of the other four 12-meter telescopes, lowers the energy range under study down to 30 GeV. HESS-II has passed the firing test because scientists have detected a pulsed gamma-ray signal in the energy range of 30 GeV, which they attribute to the Vela pulsar. This paves the way for new observation possibilities of the inner Galaxy.
It isn't just big mirrors that make it possible, HESS included two years of intensive software development. "For the reconstruction of the data from the 28-meter telescope, we performed a highly sensitive analysis based on extremely complex algorithms. For the first time, this allowed us to detect gamma radiation of only 30 GeV from ground level," explains, Mathieu de Naurois, CNRS researcher at the Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet (CNRS/Ecole Polytechnique) and deputy director of the HESS collaboration. "Since we are able to survey a projected area of 10 hectares in the atmosphere, we have a considerably higher yield of gamma rays than the largest satellite experiments such as Fermi." From some sources, it is possible to spot up to one gamma per second - a record.
Periodic gamma ray pulses of the Vela pulsar in the data obtained by the HESS experiment. One phase is equivalent to 89 milliseconds. © collaboration H.E.S.S.
"The data reveals regular gamma ray pulses at a frequency of 89 milliseconds, coming exactly from the direction of the Vela pulsar. According to our preliminary analyses, everything suggests that these are gamma rays in the energy range of 30 GeV," says Arache Djannati-Ataï from the Laboratoire Astroparticule et cosmologie (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot/CEA/Observatoire de Paris) who, together with his colleagues within the HESS collaboration, tested the reconstruction analysis for the first time.
The Milky Way is full of pulsars and HESS-II seeks to explore its very center. The project is an international collaboration involving more than 180 scientists from 42 research institutes based in 14 countries.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Gravitational Waves? Watch the LIGO press conference at 10:30 Eastern.
- LIGO, Gravitational Waves, And Laser Interferometry
- Giddings: The 750 GeV Diphoton Resonance Is A Graviton
- The Greenhouse Effect Fallacy
- New Government Guidelines Won't Impact Alcohol Drinking
- Starting Age Of Marijuana Use May Have Long-term Effects On Brain Development
- Internet Searches Reflect Increase In E-Cigarette Popularity
- "Logic? What logic? No one here as even tried to explain how a lagging indicator signal (CO2 levels)..."
- "Since one direction will be less time in the air (assuming this model is even correct) due to an..."
- "Sadly, given the documented events of his admin., the rule by regulation and the flouting of the..."
- "You may not like my snark, but you haven’t argued with my logic...."
- "After promising 'transparency', Obama has gone down a road of (probably unconstitutional unilateralism)..."
- Cotton Candy Cure for Future of Organ Transplants
- Walgreens ‘Selling to Heroin Users’? Yes, to Save Their Lives
- Age-Specific Dementia Rates Falling, While New Cases Rise
- Resistance to AIDS Meds in Africa Threatens 35 Years of Progress
- Science Acceptance: The Urban-Rural Divide
- Frying Foods in Olive Oil May Provide Health Benefits
- JAMA Oncology: An expert opinion on how to address the skyrocketing prices of cancer drugs
- LIGO, including the MSU scientists, announced a record of gravitational waves
- Renovating spaces and preserving places with lasers
- Study finds fish larvae are better off in groups
- Lifelong physical activity increases bone density in men